I think I clocked over 400 hours into this game but it was back in 2006 and before I joined Steam.
I'm well aware that this game has a great sequel (Hearts of Iron 3) and some people suggested I give it (Hearts of Iron 2) a thumbs down because of its age. In my opinion this is unfair. During its time, this was one of the most advanced grand strategy games around, thumbing it down because of its age is like denying that it ever existed. So why would you buy an older title? Don't know, its ultimately your money and your call. =)
TL:DR? See Conclusion
Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday / Armageddon is a grand strategy political war game developed by the grand strategy masters from Paradox Development Studios and published by Paradox Interactive. Unlike its siblings (Europa Universalis, Victoria, Crusader Kings etc.) in this niche genre, the Hearts of Iron franchise covers a more modern timeline by covering the Second World War and the early parts of the Cold War (if playing the expansion Armageddon).
Players can take command of ANY of the 175 playable Nations
and rewrite history as it unfolds. The game features major historical events, world situation and military leaders, and most importantly, historically accurate technologies and armies.
+ The World Map is your playground
+ Historical Accuracy on leaders, events, technologies and provinces that allows players to...(see below)
+ Make their own alternate history
+ Very complex and in-depth economy and resource management system
+ Very complex and in-depth technology tree
+ Brutal difficulty levels
+ Extensive replayability (over 175 playable nations)
+ Easy to mod (specially if the player wants the historically accurate flag of 1936 Germany)
- Resolution locked at 1024x768 (No HD support)
- Very steep learning curve
- Tutorial, though extensive, does not cover even half of the game's mechanics (you'll have to learn the other half through trial and error)
- Some historic events sometimes do not trigger properly
- AI can be dodgy
- Hotkeys can't be rebound (you can see a hotkey list from the manual)
GREAT GAME if you're the type of player that likes long term strategic planning and don't mind occasional wars of attrition. The game features a historically accurate 1936-1964 world with appropriate nations, their technologies, economy and historic leaders. The empire management system is very detailed, in-depth and complex that may require some time to learn and master. The graphics of the game are very simple but the easy to install mods that are available will certainly improve your experience.
Grand Strategy games have a very niche audience and even among this audiences, each has their own preference of timeline. Some people like the Victorian age, Feudal Japan, Medieval Europe, Ancient Rome etc. Hearts of Iron 2 caters for those who like to play with the 20th century theme of World War 2 and the Cold War.
This game is best purchased when it is on SALE. Its easier to learn than Hearts of Iron 3 in my opinion and it makes for a good collectors item for Grand Strategy players.
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